The Emerald City is known for a lot of things: gorgeous scenery, fun outdoor activities, active environmental conservation, modern industries, and its locals. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but there is also something called “The Seattle Freeze.”

Rumor has it that it’s tough to make friends in Seattle if you’re a new transferee. The locals are friendly, kind, and helpful, but don’t be surprised if you don’t get any invitations to join any of their social circles. I’m not sure if I agree with this theory, but I have to admit that it has some merits, and it carries over to the Seattle adult dating scene. As a decent looking female, I don’t experience this “dating freeze” directly, but it expresses itself in random invitations.

Guys in the Seattle adult dating scene don’t ask for dates directly. I usually hear them say things like, “We should hang out,” or “Hey, you want to meet up with me and my buddies?” and “Great, I’m heading there too. Maybe we can meet and catch up!” The scenario leaves the awkward question of whether “this” is actually a date or not. You see, being rational people, we know guys aren’t looking for their next girl best friend. They’re talking to you because they’re interested and they find you attractive. So why not just come out and say, “Can I ask you out on a date?” No horsing around, no confusion. He asks you out, he opens doors for you, and he pays. It’s that easy.

A friend and I came up with a theory about this oblique communication style used in the Seattle adult dating scene. Some attribute this style to passive-aggressive behavior, while others to the Greek culture spreading throughout our fair city. We call it “pnwasion,” short for Pacific Northwest Persuasion, and it’s taken from our dominant Asian and Nordic cultural influences. It means we’re not confrontational; we like to suggest, not demand; we are not aggressive; and we like to leave an “opt out” clause. In short, we offer you the big picture, and if you can figure out what we want, we’ll get along nicely.

While I am indeed guilty of having pnwasive speech patterns and behavior, I suggest we try to change our way to communicate. The “let’s hang out” line, while seeming casual and noncommittal, is actually the worst trap there is. She can’t say, “Sorry, I’m not interested,” because you never said you were interested, right? And if she says, “No, I’d rather not,” then you are left wondering about what part of your personality is so horrendous that she doesn’t even want to spend a little time with you. Do you see where this leads?

So guys, the best way for you is go the direct route, and ask them, “Would you like to go out on a date with me?” Try to practice in front of the mirror, and then try you inflections on your trusted friends. And ladies, please don’t be offended by the straightforwardness. It’s actually polite, it gives you an out, and it feels great!

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